Passing away just hours before his benefit concert to take place here in Perth so becoming a tribute show to him. He’s yet another under-rated Aussie muso, little known fact is Brian is from Perth too! Brian Hooper was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer late last year. After a freak balcony collapse and fall in 2004, the doctors said he would likely never walk again but they were wrong about that. This gig was named after I Get Up Again the last song on the above embedded album, you know?
The amazing one night only line-up so let’s see if I can remember what happened after drinking too much! The Surrealists’ Kim Salmon, Tony Pola and then some friends filling in on bass playing early Surrealists songs headlining the night and I think the songs Intense, I Fell and Rose Coloured Windscreen would be my highlights of the set. The local legends The Kill Devil Hills played before saying they were going full on set before his passing but played a very mellow set then. The Drones and Tropical Fuck Storm’s Gareth Liddiard playing solo electric guitar which I don’t think I’ve seen him play like that without a band behind. Gaz played a lot of cover because quote “I’m sick of playing own songs” but he did open with Blondin Makes An Omelette then Shank Fin Blues was in there somewhere and closing with Taman Shud plus Lou Reed’s Oh Jim was the best cover too.
King Pig which is Brian’s brother Alan who has reformed the band for this show and playing for the first time 25 years or something and I got to find this stuff somewhere? I arrived pretty early which lucky because calling themselves The Teenage Dreamers which is basically The Scientists’ Kim Salmon and James Baker as a duo were on like second or was it third? Playing songs like Frantic Romantic, Drop Out and Pissed On Another Planet and then The Painkillers which yet another James Baker band play after other band but at some point I think I lost track totally. Redfern Girl is still my fave song by them plus after years of seeing shows would be the first time Marty Casey walks up to the mic at the end of the set “Vale Brain” rises his fist into the air, he’s yet another Perth bass player and you might have heard of his other bands? The Triffids and The Bad Seeds. More local bands The Floors, The Bible Bashers, The Beautiful Losers, The Polite Society all complete a unbelievable night of music would be the very short way to sum it all up but off course it was very sobering sad night with MC reading famous friends tributes to him in-between sets plus on over on one side while all this was going on two paintings were being and got painted of the man by the end of the night too!
Here’s a bit of a discography of the man himself to finish off today post, if you need to know more about him now? BH played bass guitar for Kim Salmon & The Surrealists on the first five records from 1988 to 1995 with Hit Me With The Surreal Feel, Just Because You Can’t See It… …Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There, Essence, Sin Factory and the self-titled Kim Salmon And The Surrealists. Joining the Beasts Of Bourbon in 1990 in time for the group’s most well known album 1991’s The Low Road also on both the 1996 and 2007 albums. In 1994 I want highlight a little known and yet another under-rated singer-songwriter with mini-album self-titled Charlie Marshall & The Body Electric which also includes the Dirty Three’s Jim White and Warren Ellis. Also in 1994 he’s playing on long forgotten Spencer P. Jones debut solo Rumour Of Death classic album and again in 2002 on Jones’ The Last Gasp album too.
Got to say he played with Nick Cave, I’ll like to point out Hooper played and sung on his most well known album: Murder Ballads in 1996. Brian played bass guitar on the albums’ closing track the Bob Dylan cover Death Is Not The End plus backing vox in the so called The Moron Tabernacle Choir on the song The Curse Of Millhaven. By 1999 BH was on Rowland S. Howard’s debut solo album Teenage Snuff Film and then on the two tracks Wayward Man and The Golden Age Of Bloodshed on second and what would be Howard’s final album Pop Crimes in 2009. From the 2000’s he focus on his own songwriting and albums by The Voyeurs in 2004 which was his band before going to his debut solo in 2005’s Lemon Lime & Bitter and then 2007’s The Thing About Women his last one as Trouble in 2010 producer by ex-Bad Seeds Mick Harvey. Worth pointing out Cave’s two tracks on The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project albums had BH playing on Nobody’s City, City In Pain and then another great song from that would be the Tex Perkins & Lydia Lunch In My Room duet too.
Coming soon is a brand new album called What Would I Know? which does feature Gareth Liddiard from TFS and The Drones but still no release date yet! I’ve most likely missed somethings out but I can’t go on and on forever, can I? Got without saying but please do put some of his music on today, he was only 55 years old and thank you so very much for all the music over the years Brain Henry Hooper!